When you realize your parents need you more than you need them

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When you realize your parents need you more than you

When my mother got sick, I realized for the first time that she no longer resembled the strong woman who raised me.

I measured his wrinkles, caressed his marked hands and detected in his eyes the tiredness and the sweet wisdom that all adults carry.

Your routine visit to the doctor, where we find out you have a health problem, became that shocking moment that changes your life forever.

The moment you realize that your parents are people and not robots, that they get sick, they need your care and that at some point they may die. Thoughts that you have had since you were a child, but that you hardly processed or understood.

A lesson that life gives you

Our parents are “always there”, close to us, by our side. They are on their feet, healthy, brave and ready to stand up and support us through every stumble and setback. We have a feeling that they are the only ones who will beat time. It’s as if when they gave birth to us they made some kind of informal agreement to take care of their children forever.

But at some point the roles are reversed and you have to take care of them. Until you accept this idea, the stages you go through will knock you back to reality: the reality of human degradation that now touches your parents, and one day will touch you.

First stage: Panic

The terror of loss paralyzes your mind and the fear of your new life as “guardian” of your parents quickly turns into panic.

Really, how do you live knowing that these two heroes will not always be behind you to hug you? How do you continue without unfastening what you thought would always be firm and stable? How do you deal with the realization that one day your parents will die? And how will you continue to breathe, without the person who once gave you your first breath?

Second stage: you relive your childhood

Little by little, the fear and panic subside and then nostalgia takes its place. You bring to your memory everything you lived together and a sweet melancholy surrounds you. All your “firsts” hug you tenderly and you cling to your memories so as not to fall.

The first board game you played together, the first time you waited for Santa, the first punishment you received after being hurt, your first fight, your first bike ride, the first time you hugged them, the first day at school …

You close your eyes and everything is there. You never forgot them, even if you thought you didn’t remember anything from your childhood! You bring it all back to your memory and realize how much you love them and how much they did for you.

It is the moment when you appreciate their efforts and sacrifices even more. They took care of you, studied you, made you a suitable and capable person, and now is the time to return the love you received.

Third stage: you realize that it is your turn to take care of them

Suddenly you stop seeing them only as parents. You feel for them what you feel for your children. You are overwhelmed with love for them and you want to be there and take them by the hand so that they are not afraid. You don’t wait for the phone to ring like before, you call them first and constantly ask yourself how they are.

You remind them of their medications, cook more takeout, fit doctor’s appointments into your already busy schedule, and keep talking to your kids about Grandma and Grandpa as if mentioning them would make them live longer. Little by little, you come to terms with the idea that your parents have grown up and you are an “adult” all of a sudden.

Stage Four: Suddenly you grow up…

Even though you are an adult and have your own family, the moment you realize that the people who have always been there for you now need your help makes you shudder! It is, perhaps, the first time that you feel one hundred percent that you are completely responsible for yourself.

Gradually your perspective changes and you perceive the world and your daily life differently. The weight of your responsibility ripens you quickly. You gain more understanding, forgive more easily, and think of possibilities and details that surprise even you. The burden of your responsibility is the central point that makes you mature, makes you serious, and makes you even more careful and big-hearted.

The moment you realize that your parents need you more than you need them may be the last gift they have to give you. Their dream, to see you standing independent and free from the chains on your feet, is coming true, and now they are ready to go in peace, knowing that you will manage on your own.

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555 points